Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the 1964 Rugby Foundation threw what player and St. Ignatius coach Dan Arbeznik called “the classiest rugby party I’ve ever been to.”
Nearly 300 current and former players and their companions traded the sport’s rough, beer-party reputation for black-tie elegance at the InterContinental Hotel. The list of speakers was impressive: organization founder and renowned Cleveland Clinic orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Bergfeld; Vicki McGarry (former amateur rugby/pro football player); Tom Selfridge (a USA Eagles player); Dan Arbeznik (chair of the Ohio Rugby competitions committee); and Nigel Melville (USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Operations).
These men and women have played around the world, and now are working to develop and support rugby for Northeast Ohio youth and adult amateur teams. “This game of hooligans played by gentlemen,” said Dr. Bergfeld, “promotes camaraderie, fun and teamship [sic].” Happy 50th, Ruggers! STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY LINDA McMULLEN